My colleague, (Merrick) Lex Berman, who is Web Service Manager & GIS Specialist, at the Center for Geographic Analysis at Harvard presented this as part of the Program on Information Science Brown Bag Series. Lex is an expert in applications related to digital humanities, GIS, and chinese history -- and has developed many interesting tools in this area.
In his talk, Lex notes how the library catalog has evolved from the description of items in physical collections into a wide-reaching net of services and tools for managing both physical collections and networked resources: The line between descriptive metadata and actual content is becoming blurred. Librarians and catalogers are now in the position of being not only docents of collections, but innovators in digital research, and this opens up a number of opportunities for retooling library discovery tools. His presentation will presented survey of methods and projects that have extended traditional catalogs of libraries and museums into online collections of digital objects in the field of humanities -- focusing on projects that use historical place names and geographic identifiers for linked open data will be discussed.